A panel of 48 journalists, including CAR deputy editor John Bentley, recently announced Audi’s latest A6 executive saloon as the winner in its World Car of the Year contest, where it edged out the new Porsche 911 and Volvo S40.

A panel of 48 journalists, including CAR deputy editor John Bentley, recently announced Audi’s latest A6 executive saloon as the winner in its World Car of the Year contest, where it edged out the new Porsche 911 and Volvo S40.

The announcement was made at the Toronto Motor Show after jurors voted for 36 cars by two secret ballots. The eligible vehicles had to be sold in at least five countries on two continents before January 1, 2005 and the judges were selected from 21 countries around the world.

In accepting the award, executive vice-president of Audi of America and fellow South African, Johan de Nysschen, said "We are delighted to be the first-time recipients of such a prestigious award".

Cars were assessed on 20 factors, including comfort, performance, styling and fuel economy, and a shortlist of ten cars was drawn up. The ten were then rated in terms of merit, value, safety, environmental responsibility and “the wow factor” or emotional appeal.

Co-chairman of the event, British motoring journalist Graham Johnson said: "The concept of national borders is now almost non-existent in terms of where vehicles and their components are designed, engineered, developed and built... or where they are sold. Considering the ever-increasing globalisation of the automotive industry, the concept of a World Car of the Year award programme was inevitable. It is truly an idea whose time has come."

Detailed information can be found at the official World Car of the Year website.